South Dartmoor CTC

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Friday 4 January 2013
1900-2200
Social: Badminton
7 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, Jack Parnell, Gavin Pearson, George Rogers, Will Rogers
Gavin joined us this evening for a session of badminton at Ivybridge Leisure Centre from 8.35. Gavin’s involvement meant that we had some very energetic games, and with some good mixing up of the sides we had a very enjoyable evening.

Sunday 6 January 2013
1015-1307
Morning ride: Dartington Hall (14 mi)Dry
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, Jack Parnell, Adam Wyeth
Jack, Callum, Adam, Lawrence and Ash in the grounds of Dartington Hall
With everyone feeling on top form today we rode out along Colston Road, then followed the cycle path through the Cider Press Centre towards Totnes. When we got to the Dartington Hall road at 11.48 Adam suggested that we could maybe return via the Dartington Hall estate. This seemed like an excellent idea so we set off up the hill at a good pace.

Michael had inadvertently neglected to pack his chocolate box today and thought this would be enough to persuade everyone to stop at the upmarket café in Dartington Hall. Unfortunately the majority favoured minimal spending so he ended up accompanying Lawrence into the café so he could buy a 75p KitKat to take away!

When Callum had been reminded again of the dangers of cycling with earphones we returned home via Staverton Bridge and Abham, reaching Buckfastleigh by just after 1pm. There was a games social after the ride until 2.50.

Today's ride included a total climb of 265m.

Friday 11 January 2013
1900-2200
Social: Computer Games
5 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, George Rogers, John Rogers
Everyone wanted to play PC games this evening, and this kept everyone happy right up to closing time. We finished the evening with everyone playing Modern Warfare 3 together in multiplayer mode.

Sunday 13 January 2013
1015-1120
Morning ride: Hockmoor Head (8 mi)Cold, 5°
4 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, Jack Parnell
On a cold but sunny morning we set off for Ashburton. By the time we reached Dart Bridge Michael decided that Callum’s flimsy gloves wouldn’t provide enough protection from the cold and so diverted us back via Buckfast and Hockmoor Head to get some gloves.

Unfortunately in the end it wasn’t the cold that scuppered the ride but Callum’s excessive tiredness. So Callum stayed at Crofters while first Michael and then Jack and Ash did short but energetic rides up to Cross Furzes and back.

Computer games after the ride kept everyone entertained until 2.10.

Today's ride included a total climb of 293m.

Friday 18 January 2013
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
6 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
After some discussion the consensus was to stay in for computer games tonight, which for Will and Michael involved beating two normal computer enemies in Supreme Commander. John, however, contented himself with watching some videos of the comedy series Life is Too Short.

Sunday 20 January 2013
1015-1300
Morning ride: Converted to SocialFreezing (-1°)
6 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
With temperatures below freezing at the start we decided conditions were just too cold for young George to be comfortable on a cycle ride, so we changed the ride to a badminton social.

We played some good games at Ashmoor leisure centre from 11am on three courts, and with Gavin joining us soon after we arrived we had some very good games.

We enjoyed videos and games after the ride until 2.30.

Friday 25 January 2013
1900-2210
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, George Rogers, Will Rogers
As usual everyone just wanted to stay in this evening so we enjoyed another full session of computer games on the PC network.

Sunday 27 January 2013
1015-1245
Morning ride: Belford Mill (11 mi)Sunny
5 present: Lawrence Buttress, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, George Rogers
The gate at the end of the track
George, Jack, Ash and Lawrence at the start of the woodland track near Belford Mill
Michael was recovering from a virus this morning so he led the ride by car on a superb sunny morning. We rode to Ashburton, then down the railway track to the centre of town, although George apparently came off while attempting a jump which caused a small delay.

After taking the back lanes to Belford Mill we rode the track down through the woods. Last time the first section of the path was in a total mess as a result of extensive tree felling, but now we were pleased to find that the path had been properly tidied up – it was still a bit muddy, but everyone enjoyed it.

We returned home via South Dartmoor School and the old Ashburton road, getting back for around 12.45. There was a Minecraft social after the ride until 3.30.

Today's ride included a total climb of 200m.

Friday 1 February 2013
1900-2210
Social: Games Evening
7 present: Lawrence Buttress, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, Jack Parnell, George Rogers, Will Rogers
Jack and one of the other lads wanted to play badminton tonight, but when we discovered that the only court available in the area was 8pm at Paignton we had no choice but to run a games evening.

We enjoyed a mix of Halo, Minecraft and Modern Warfare 3 until the club closed at 10.10.

Sunday 3 February 2013
1015-1300
Morning ride: South Brent (10 mi)Chilly with spells of light drizzle
4 present: Lawrence Buttress, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell
Jack, Lawrence and Ash at the top of Nurston hill
Today’s ride took us up Dean Hill and on to South Brent where we called into the Co-op so that Lawrence could buy himself a frozen pizza for his lunch. He must have been keen to eat it as power up the hills on our return route via Lutton and Bloody Pool. We had seen a Horizon programme recently that suggested a few ten-second stints of maximum effort was as effective for fitness as a very long spell of half-hearted exercise, so he diligently followed the guide today.

Lawrence managed to come off his bike on the way down Nurston hill, but he only landed in mud so there was no real damage done. He went home to change while the rest of us got back for 1pm. There was the usual games social after the ride until 3.45 that included a few games of Halo. And of course Lawrence wasted no time getting back up so he could cook his pizza.

Today's ride included a total climb of 338m.

Friday 8 February 2013
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
John and Michael worked out provisional plans for our 2013 Easter Tour, then we all played some games of Modern Warfare 3 before finishing with a music quiz. Michael had set up a new link from his PC to his AV amplifier and TV today so the music reached new levels of quality!

Sunday 10 February 2013
1015-1255
Morning ride: Combe (7 mi)Windy and chilly with light drizzle
6 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Ash, George, Will, John and Callum at Cullaford Bridge, Lower Combe
Cullaford Bridge, Lower Combe
We were delayed at the start by Callum who arrived with two punctures to fix, so the youngsters had an hour on the computers before we finally set off at 11.10. We rode up to Cross Furzes, but the second half of the climb left us all feeling really cold in the strong wind. Some people needed hoods up to help thaw their ears, although young George remained cheerful through it all.

The descent to Lower Combe brought us down to some shelter at last, but nobody was in the mood to stay out too long so we returned home via Hawson Court for 12.55. There was the usual games social after the ride until 3.30, consisting of Modern Warfare 3 and Halo.

Today's ride included a total climb of 245m.

Friday 15 February 2013
1900-2215
Social: Games and Superstore
7 present: Lawrence Buttress, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Lawrence explained that he had missed several recent activities as a result of a two-week illness, but he was back to full health this evening and wanted to go to Pizza Hut for the social. He was marginally outvoted, however, so by way of a compromise we did a trip to Tesco Lee Mill to stock up with some tasty refreshments.

On our return we had a mammoth session of Infected games on Modern Warfare 3 that had everyone on the edge of their seats with excitement: Lawrence enjoyed the games so much he actually offered to pay money if he could stay later! Michael allowed everyone a little extra time and closed the club at 10.15.

Sunday 17 February 2013
1015-1350
Morning ride: River Dart Country Park (11 mi)Sunny but slightly chilly
5 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Riding the track through Holne Woods to River Dart Country Park
The track through Holne Woods
Those who turned out on this bright sunny morning enjoyed a great ride to Holne via Holne Road, Scoriton and Michelcombe. We stopped for soups and teacakes at the Holne café, then took the track down to River Dart Country Park which was a little harder than usual to access because of the careful positioning of a large log in the path around the gate.

The track through the woods was great fun as usual. We stopped to enjoy the Spiders’ Web attraction for a few moments, then returned home via the old Ashburton Road for 1.50. There were the usual games after the ride until 3.40.

Today's ride involved a total climb of 278m.

Friday 22 February 2013
1900-2220
Social: Badminton
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, George Rogers, Will Rogers
Michael had booked two badminton courts at Newton Abbot from 9pm, so we had time for some games of Halo and Modern Warfare 3 before we left.

Everyone had a go at playing everyone else at some point during this excellent evening. Lawrence was eager to demonstrate his skills to Michael and asked him to play his best, although after losing the first three points suggested that perhaps he could tone his game down just a little. Ash and Michael later reached level at 10-10 but then Michael just took the game. We finished with a doubles game that included Will and George, then got home a little late at 10.20.

Sunday 24 February 2013
1015-1305
Morning ride: Hembury Woods (8 mi)Sunny spells but cold (2°)
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, George Rogers, Alastair Shapland (10, Totnes)
Alastair, Ash, George, Callum and Lawrence on the Lower Hembury Track
The group hanging out in their favourite tree on the Lower Hembury Track
New member Alastair arrived promptly at 10am on a very cold morning and seemed happy enough to play a game of Modern Warfare 3 with the others while we waited for Lawrence, who as usual was running late.

Alastair likes off-road so we rode through Buckfast to the lower Hembury Woods track which offered us a little shelter from the bitter breeze. Half-way along we stopped at our favourite tree for a photo, then we stopped again to climb the tree at Humphrey’s Cross. The slalom track through Hembury provided a great finish on our way home, bringing us back to Buckfastleigh for just after 1pm. Alastair is quite an experienced cyclist and had no problem with the ride, so we hope to see him again soon.

There was a games and trampoline social after the ride until 3.30 or so.

Friday 1 March 2013
1900-2215
Social: Music Quiz and Games
7 present: Lawrence Buttress, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Our rather noisy evening started with a music quiz, which most thought unfair as the first two rounds were 70s and 80s music which only John seemed to know much about. The game theme round redressed the balance somewhat but ended in a draw. We finished the evening with games of Infected and One in the Chamber on Modern Warfare 3 which everyone really enjoyed.

Sunday 3 March 2013
1015-1345
Morning ride: Dartington (13 mi)Cloudy and chilly (3-4°)
8 present: Jacob Cacchione, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers, Alastair Shapland, Jerome Shapland (Adult, Totnes)
The group on the lane from Staverton to Abham
Jacob Cacchione in the mire near Staverton Island
Returning towards Buckfastleigh
Alastair’s father Jerome joined us for today’s ride on a cloudy, chilly morning. We rode along Colston road at a fast pace and up the cycle path to Huxham’s Cross. Everyone like the idea of a café stop so we continued down the path to Dartington and enjoyed very tasty but rather expensive food in the Venus café. Will entertained us all by piling all his cream and jam onto one scone and then trying to eat it.

Everyone was quite fast enough today to continue to Totnes and return via Littlehempston, but John needed to get back early so we rode back up the hill and down to Staverton. Michael got a nasty puncture along the way that ripped his tyre canvas, so he hobbled along the riverside path. A rather unfriendly gentleman tried to tell us off for pushing our bikes along a footpath, but another lady nearby put him in his place by telling him we were quite within our rights, so he kept quiet after that.

Michael changed his inner tube in the park while the others played on the park equipment, then we headed home past Abham. George was keen to point out the dangers of “Death Hill”, aka Caddaford Hill, which had caused him to take a tumble on his very first ride with the club.

We got back for 1.45 and enjoyed a Modern Warfare 3 and trampoline social after the ride until 3.30.

Today's ride involved a total climb of 235m.

Friday 8 March 2013
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, George Rogers, Will Rogers
The evening was divided between Modern Warfare 3, Halo and a music quiz. The cartoon themes round of the music quiz didn’t work out too well because Cob, who is a cartoon enthusiast, kept getting all the answers.

Sunday 10 March 2013
1015-1230
Morning ride: Rattery (6 mi)Cold, snow showers
8 present: Lawrence Buttress, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers, Alastair Shapland, Jerome Shapland
We had a good turnout today on morning where the forecast was mainly dry with some showers, but when people started arriving it was definitely cold and wet. Now Michael had a dilemma: Jerome and Alastair wanted to go cycling regardless of the weather, but all the others wanted to stay dry and warm with a badminton social. Jerome said he and Alastair would do a ride through Hembury Woods on their own if we did a social. Well as we debated the matter the rain stopped so it seemed sensible to do a relatively short ride.

We finally set off at 10.50 and rode up Dean Hill, but light rain soon began again, this time with some snowflakes mixed in. By the time we reached the top it was heavier with more snow and very cold so everyone agreed to head home via Pennywell to avoid retracing our outward route.

Now however there was more snow than rain. This was probably the first time any of the youngsters had been cycling in snow, and even though they were cold they were very much enlivened by the fun of it all. Will soon began to suffer, however, as he was only wearing a shirt and fingerless gloves. Lawrence also had problems as he was wearing jeans for some reason, and George had been freezing since halfway up Dean Hill.

We sailed down Pennywell Hill with snow in our eyes looking forward eagerly to a warm fire and hot drinks. Jerome commented that he wouldn’t have opted to cycle if he had known it was going to be so unpleasant, and I think nobody could disagree with that. When we reached Timbers Road, however, he asked for directions to Hembury Woods: apparently they were still going to do their original ride to Hembury despite the atrocious conditions! Ash thought they were crazy and everyone else probably thought the same, but we wished them luck and raced back home to get showered and changed.

Will and Lawrence decided to stay home once they were showered and warm, but everyone else came up for an afternoon of games by the fire, finishing around 3.15. Callum O’Brien also joined us on condition that he cycled up, and George joined Michael and Ash for a car trip to Tesco after the social.

So Michael had done his best to create a ride that would keep both groups reasonably happy, but in the end it was just too big a gap to bridge and neither group was really satisfied. Having said that, the memory of cycling in the snow will remain with everyone for a very long time.

Today's ride included a total climb of 163m.

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